Adding more names to the coaching speculation party

As Nelson Rodriguez continues his travels across North America and beyond interviewing candidates for the Fire’s head coaching position, his ideal time frame for the hire is quickly approaching. With Thanksgiving only three weeks away, having a coach in place by the end of the month could be crucial to completing player personnel decisions for next season. The league deadline for options and contract renewals is December 1. While some players continue to train under the guidance of Brian Bliss and Logan Pause, those that are either out of contract, non guaranteed, or up for renewal have been advised by the MLSPU to decline participation in post season sessions.

Speculation will continue on whether or not the Fire will pursue Jason Kreis but it doesn’t seem likely that his next destination will be Chicago. Kreis was let go by New York City FC in the middle of a four year deal so he can take his time and wait for the Toronto FC, or any other position if he chooses to do so. His assistants may not be so fortunate as they typically do not work on contracts in MLS. As a result CJ Brown could be a name under consideration for the Fire’s top spot.

Another name making the rounds as a possible candidate is former Columbus Crew player and current Lanus manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto. He’s expressed interest in returning to the US and coaching in MLS after reportedly being considered for the Columbus job that went to Gregg Berhalter following the 2013 season. Schelotto’s contract with Lanus expires at the end of December and there are at least three clubs in Argentina reportedly pursuing him. Boca Juniors, Racing, and San Lorenzo have all been rumored to be suitors but he’s publicly stated that he’s committed to Lanus until at least December 31. Brian Bliss was the Technical Director in Columbus during his heydays with the Crew.

One more name to to add to the list of possibilities is Wilmer Cabrera. He’s been a candidate for MLS jobs in the past and was the last head coach at Chivas USA while Rodriguez oversaw the operation for the league. Cabrera has worked as an assistant at Colorado and also has experience with the US youth program, coaching the U-18 and U-17 sides from 2007 to 2012. Rodriguez said this of Cabrera last week – ” I tried to be very supportive of the head coach, understanding that he was under incredible, difficult circumstances with a one year contract.”

Until a selection has been made, an offer accepted, and an announcement scheduled all we have are names and speculation. It doesn’t sound like an immediate decision is near quite yet however.

Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Schelotto is interesting. I'm not sure how much he would know about the development system in the US, though, from his playing days. His connections in SA could be beneficial in terms of recruitment. Could he bring a mini-Me as part of the deal?

    Cabrera doesn't seem as intriguing, even though he has more coaching experience and knows the US development system thoroughly.

    We tried going with a former assistant, a Mexican and national team coach, a former player and technical director, coach with a (dated) track record in MLS... none of it worked. I still think the organization as a whole is broken.

    What I do know is that whoever comes in as coach is going to lavish praise on Andrew Hauptmann. And then?

  • GR and Jeff, in your honest opinion who would you like to see as coach or who would make the most sense?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I think that would make for an interesting podcast, perhaps with some guests (assuming that a coach wasn't picked before it could be recorded and released.)

  • In reply to penapirata:

    We're trying to schedule a couple of podcasts but that depends on lining up the guests and availability.

    I wouldn't mind seeing Armas or Sunderland get a shot. Of course, Kreis would be the first choice for most people but I don't see that happening. That would be a good podcast topic. ;)

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I just want to point out that when I suggested Armas two months ago you totally shot that down. C'mon throw me a bone by saying, "as many of you pointed out months before I realized how right you are, I would like to see Armas get a shot." That would appease my soul.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    As Krasov pointed out before, Armas should get a shot.

    I'm hearing he's staying with the Red Bulls though.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    GR you throw a bone and pull it back all in one post. I have watched Tab Ramos coached national youth teams and honestly have not been impressed with the style of play. I would rather see Wilmer Cabrera or Kris but of course Armas over all of them.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I've gotten mixed reports on Ramos as well.

    He's been regarded as the front runner for several weeks now. He may elect to stay with US soccer however.

    Cabrera may be the choice if that's the case, although the Fire will get hammered as Chivas-East if they make that move.

  • The Fire needs a coach that's a proven winner. Proven winning players doesn't necessarily translate to winning coaches. Kreis is there for the right offer.
    Talk is cheap lets see some action.

  • This club is not going to be able to compete next year. This team is too far away from being good to do it in one year. We need someone to take this club forward with a vision and identity. IMO, that was Yallop's major problem. We never had a vision with any signing and our only identity was the long ball and giving up late goals. For me, Kreis is that guy, obviously. Next is Ramos or CJ.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Hard to say who lacks the vision in the organization... or rather hard to pin the lack of vision on any one person. It's the blind leading (and hiring) the blind.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    All I know is that the team never looked like a team that knew who they wanted to be. They didnt know if they wanted to be a possession or a counter attacking team. They did neither of those for two season. Half of the team wanted to counter and the other half wanted to "try" and keep possession. Whoever this new guy is needs to pick a style that is suited for most of these players and then fill in the holes. I'm ready to give the guy time as long as he is trying to do the right things.

    I would obviously like a team that wins games playing great soccer. I know that I am not going to get that any time soon with this group of players. What I do expect from them is 100% effort and attempting to do the right things. Work your ass off to win the ball and then try and hit the target with a shot. Its not a lot to ask for but i havent seen it in 2 years.

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